Nvidia to Launch a New Slower Gaming Chip in China to Comply With US Export Controls

By Jace Dela Cruz

Dec 30, 2023 12:10 AM EST

US semiconductor giant Nvidia plans to introduce a modified, slower version of its gaming processor in China to comply with US export restrictions.

Latest Consumer Technology Products On Display At CES 2017
(Photo : Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 04: An Nvidia logo is shown on a screen during a keynote address by Nvidia Founder, President and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at CES 2017 at The Venetian Las Vegas on January 4, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

New Nvidia RTX 4090D to be Launched in China

According to CNBC, a product page dedicated to Chinese consumers on Nvidia's website reveals the upcoming launch of the Nvidia RTX 4090D, which features 11% fewer "CUDA" (Compute Unified Device Architecture) cores compared to versions available outside of China.

A company spokesperson told Reuters that the new gaming processor is scheduled to be launched in January. The RTX series represents Nvidia's lineup of advanced gaming GPUs (graphics processing units). Nvidia's CUDA architecture is actually a GPU equivalent for CPU cores that are processing units.

According to the spokesperson, the chip has been meticulously designed to adhere to US government export controls, with Nvidia "extensively engaged with the US government" while developing the product.

These export regulations primarily target chips that play a role in enabling AI applications. However, gaming-focused processors are also under scrutiny due to their potential uses in AI.

READ ALSO: AMD Shares Rise After it Unveils New AI Chips to Compete with Nvidia

Nvidia RTX 4090 Among Prohibited Chips in the US

The Nvidia RTX 4090 was among the banned U.S.-made chips, as seen in the October 17 Securities and Exchange Commission filing. 

On Nvidia's website, the company noted that the RTX 4090D chip leverages AI to enhance performance. However, the spokesperson noted that the RTX 4090D is "5% slower in gaming and creating" than the banned RTX 4090.

This new China-focused chip will reportedly cost 12,999 yuan ($1,842), which is more expensive or 350 yuan ($50) higher than the second most advanced chip in Nvidia's product series available to Chinese customers.

READ MORE: China's Chipmaker SMIC Raises 2023 Annual Budget to $7.5 Billion as It Rushes to Buy Semiconductor Tools Amid US Sanctions

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